Local artist achieves industry leading certification, pledges profits from successful businesses to charity.

Upstate SC's very own Amanda Bruce has just completed her CBA (Certified Balloon Artist) certification! The CBA, presented by Qualatex, consists of three written examinations which ensure a candidate's proficiency with industry standards, technical decor and design skills, as well as business knowledge. Once they have proven their base knowledge a candidate must submit multiple real-world examples of decor jobs they have sold and installed, along with a detailed breakdown and cost analysis. If accepted, the candidate is then invited to take the practical hands on exam. This is a grueling 4-hour exam done live in front of industry experts. The candidate must demonstrate their proficiency in a number of skills, including designing and building a custom centerpiece, a unique balloon bouquet, recreating an example piece, and completing an interview. If the candidate is able to successfully demonstrate their skill set and earn a passing grade, they are awarded the designation of CBA.

In addition to being a mom, veteran, and certified Special Needs teacher, Amanda owns and runs two successful businesses. Over the past decade Amanda has excelled in her craft, becoming a rare triple threat in the industry, as she mastered professional face painting, balloon twisting entertainment, and balloon decor. She and husband, Ben, founded Bruce Unlimited Designs in 2011, serving the needs of local families and businesses with her extravagant face painting and balloon twisting entertainment. In 2019 they purchased And Why Not Balloons, the areas original balloon decor service provider. Now as an industry recognized expert, Amanda has established herself among the elite artists in the world. She is celebrating by giving back. Over the past decade a portion of profits from Bruce Unlimited Designs has gone to support the Miracle Hill Boys' Shelter. In addition to that continued support, half of Q1 profits from And Why Not Balloons are being pledged to support the Australian wildfire relief effort. Amanda will select a new charity each quarter to direct profits towards. Having joined just a handful of CBAs in the state, she will continue to further hone her craft and support worthy causes as she serves Upstate South Carolina and surrounding areas.